A Student of History

June 19, 2006

All they have is not what we see

Filed under: Ireland — John Maass @ 7:26 pm

According to the Irish Independent, "Despite having vast collections running to millions of items, the public only see a fraction of our national treasures. But now some museums plan to throw open their stores. Both the Natural History and the Archaeology and History museums, which between them have accumulated over three million items in the past two centuries, have less than 1pc of artefacts on public display." Other museums in a similar boat include The National Gallery on Dublin's Merrion Square, The Country Life Museum, and The Museum of Decorative Arts and History. In part this is a result of the so-called "Celtic Tiger," which has fueled the Irish economy for the past 10 years or more.  As they get more prosperous, the Irish build more, and when they build they dig, and when they dig they find lots of cool old stuff.

Decorative Arts and History The Museum of Decorative Arts & History

The rest of the article is here.

On a somewhat releated note, on the Isle of Wight a 13th century gold brooch was recently discovered by metal detectors in May:

The 13th century annular brooch with its inscription.

The piece found by Allan Hall in the parish of Godshill will be anaysed by experts at the British Museum and made subject of a treasure inquest.
The brooch is inscribed with the letters AGLA, each letter separated by a cross potent (a sort of Medieval full stop), which comes from the Latinised version of a Hebrew phrase, Atha Gebri Leilan Adonai, or Thou Art Mighty Forever o' Lord.
These words are known to have been considered to be a powerful charm against fever in the Middle Ages. Mr Hall, of Newtown, a member of the IW Metal Detecting Club, said: "I have a friend, Rob, and we are always joking who is the best metal detector. Every time he comes over to talk to me, he finds some good coins. "On this particular day he was coming towards me and he was dragging his spade in the soil making a furrow. He was about 10ft away from me and we both got a signal so we started digging but it only turned out to be a couple of pieces of lead.
"When he walked off I trained my detector on the furrow he had made and found this amazing brooch."  Dave Clark, group chairman, said: "Frank Basford, the IW Council finds liaison officer, says he doesn't think there has been another gold one found on the Island. Ruth Waller, county archaeologist, has only seen one before on the mainland in London and that is plain while ours is inscribed."  May has been a fruitful month for the club with members also unearthing a Medieval posy ring, a James I gold coin, a Roman bracelet along with some unique Roman fibula brooches and six Saxon sceat coins

From: Isle of Wight County Press.


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